Caramelized Onion Pear & Walnut Stuffing. A flavorful and easy-to-make Thanksgiving stuffing made with caramelized onions, pears, celery, walnuts, and dried cranberries.
Since I was a kid, stuffing was always my favorite side dish at Thanksgiving. Maybe because I grew up eating Cuban-Style Three Meat + Plantain Stuffing. Yup, that was one hearty stuffing. I looked forward to that dish every year!
Last year was the first time my mom requested a vegetarian stuffing. Trust me, I was just as shocked. Her logic was that we shouldn’t mix so many meats into one dinner. We’re already having turkey so we can’t have ground meat too. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
We ended up making some random recipe from the Internets. This year, however, I’m bringing something new to the table – this caramelized onion, pear, and walnut stuffing!
The most important ingredient for this stuffing is patience. Why? Because caramelizing onions takes SO LONG. I love them. They’re delicious. But I wish I could just buy them in the store already ready to go. I am not a patient person. The good news is you can caramelized onions ahead of time and place them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Oh and in case you were wondering, this nonstick pan is the BEST pan for caramelizing onions.
Once you caramelized the onions, the rest is pretty straight forward. In a skillet, you melt butter then add pears, celery, walnuts, cranberries and herbs. Sauté for a few minutes while you toast the bread in the oven. Mix everything together – bread, onions, this delicious pear walnut mixture – and into a baking dish it goes.
The result is a sweet, salty, slightly moist, flavorful combo that also happens to be a great vegetarian option! I honestly can’t say any more good things about this dish.
Stuffing is one of those dishes where you can truly customize it to your liking. That’s just what I did here. I loooove caramelized onions. So I started with that as the base and just kept thinking of different variations. After a few recipe tests, this version was my absolute favorite.
I hope you make it and LOVE it!
OTHER SIDE DISHES YOU MAY LIKE:
- 5-Ingredient Crispy Sliced Roasted Potatoes
- Vegan Roasted Cauliflower Gratin
- Cuban-Style Three Meat + Plantain Stuffing
- Mini Sweet Corn Casseroles
- Chorizo Mac and Cheese with Cheesy Pork Rind Topping
- Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
A flavorful and easy-to-make Thanksgiving stuffing made with caramelized onions, pears, celery, walnuts, and dried cranberries.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter divided (sub for vegan butter)
- 2 large yellow onions thinly sliced
- 1 loaf sourdough bread cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 pears chopped
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup shelled walnuts plus more for garnish
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley plus more for garnish
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (sub for vegetable broth to keep vegetarian)
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and reduce heat to low. Sauté until onions are soft, golden brown and caramelized, approximately 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.* Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place cubed bread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes or until bread is lightly toasted.
Meanwhile in a skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add pears, celery, walnuts, cranberries, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Transfer mixture to the bowl with the caramelized onions. Add cubed bread and gently stir to combine. Transfer to a baking dish. Pour chicken stock and remaining melted butter on top. Cover baking dish with foil.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve and enjoy!
*You can prep this recipe by making the caramelized onions and refrigerating them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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